Cover Image
close this bookTraditional Medicinal Plants (Dar Es Salaam University Press - Ministry of Health - Tanzania, 1991, 391 p.)
View the documentSession I
View the documentSession II
View the documentSession III
View the documentSession IV
View the documentSession V
View the documentSession VI
View the documentSpecial Session of Traditional Herbs
View the documentClosing Session

Closing Session


Your Excellency,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have a Kiswahili adage which says, "hakuna mwanzo usiokuwa na mwisho;" which means, "there is no beginning without an end." Nevertheless, today is our last day of this busy week in our beautiful town of Arusha. It is with great pleasure then that I take this opportunity to invite those of you who attended this educational and unique conference on medicinal plants.

Distinguished participants, during the last six days we have had a rare occasion to deliberate on various issues about this virgin subject area. You have proved that research work on medicinal plants has reached an advanced stage. You have also proved beyond doubt that the research on traditional medicine has been conducted jointly and cooperatively and tests have been made on various patients.

I hope that the knowledge gained in this conference will be of greatest assistance in your future endeavours towards strengthened cooperation among countries of the South in the areas of exploration, exploitation and application of research results in the field of medicinal plants.

Let me take this opportunity to re-emphasize three points. Firstly, in the original plan you bad listed five objectives of the conference. From what I have been able to gather informally, there are clear indications that you have covered them all. Understandably, given your own training and career orientation you may have, at some point, been carried away by professional exchanges of the differing experiences in your respective regions. But that should not rule out the facts that once issues of application and acceptability emerge, your field becomes more to other dimensions and require the input of other professions. At that point, the need for helping bands from other disciplines is inevitable; hence the need to adopt a much more multidisciplinary approach. It is my sincere hope that the type of exchanges witnessed at this conference will subsequently enrich your perspectives on research on medicinal plants and in the popularization of your respective results.

Secondly, it has always been a dream of the Chairman of the South Commission, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, to find an opportune time to bring together people of your calibre and integrity to deliberate on the subject matter of this conference. Today, the dream has finally come true. If self-reliance means using our own resources to the maximum and for the benefit of our people, this conference proves quite vividly the existence of enormous resources in the form of real potential of the traditional medicine in the South.

As a means of strengthening our moves towards self-reliance in the medical field, the challenge ahead of us is to disseminate, as aggressively as possible, all that we feel is fully researched on. Therefore, closing the knowledge gap in this area represents one of the pressing challenges. The pivotal role of our traditional healers deserves closest inspection and attention.

Thirdly, I have been impressed by the contributions of Tanzanian participants. I believe that the experiences of other participants will greatly strengthen the ability of our local experts so that they could fully utilize the existing potential of medicinal plants in Tanzania. The Government of Tanzania looks forward to your recommendations which will be digested carefully to facilitate assistance to those of you who are directly involved in the country's traditional medicine scene.

Distinguished participants, let me end by thanking all those who have contributed to the success of this conference by organising and sponsoring delegates. I would tike to single out WHO’s further support, to Africa through Dr. Monekosso and Dr. Bracho who assisted in coordinating the Latin American participants with UNDP and UNEP. Allow me to express our heartfelt thanks to a unique group of people without whose commitment and dedication, this conference would have foundered. I am also extending my sincere commendations to our interpreters, translators, secretaries and typists for their excellent work. I will not forget our hosts, the AICC for their hospitality. To all, let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation. My appreciation should also go to the traditional healers who participated in this conference. I request them, to pass on to their colleagues our sincerest appreciation of their useful role in our societies. I propose that consideration should be made to invite a good number of them in subsequent meetings.

Once again, I take this opportunity to propose that the knowledge gained from this conference should also guide our plans for the future. Such meetings should be set as our unity plans for the future and should act as unifying forces to try and examine all that we have discussed here. In future, the meetings could consider exchanges with a view to finding out if the objectives and recommendations reached at this conference have been met.

Let me conclude by wishing you the best in all your future endeavours. For those of you who will be leaving soon, I say ton voyage, Buen Viaje Felicidades. And for those who may have to extend their stay for various reasons, I can only say, KARIBU SANA Tanzania.

I now have the honour and privilege to close this conference.